Giffoni through the ages

How modest fest for minors evolved into a major operation

Giffoni Valle Piana, teen fest topper Claudio Gubitosi starts a unique event for children’s films where kids are jurors. The first winner is Herbert Ross’ “Goodbye, Mr. Chips” remake.

Becomes the Giffoni Film Festival. The first guest is Italian actor and playwright Leopoldo Trieste.

Italian state broadcaster RAI airs first TV coverage of the fest.

Gubitosi secures some public financing and hosts event’s first international confab for directors of films fests around the world dedicated to children’s films.

U.S. helmer Ralph Bakshi’s dark toon “The Lord of the Rings” takes the top pic prize.

Giffoni bows internationally “La boum” (The Party), the hit generational comedy that launched Sophie Marceau’s career.

Francois Truffaut attends and praises fest as “most necessary.” Robert De Niro named honorary citizen of Giffoni.

Italian president Sandro Pertini places Giffoni among country’s most worthy cultural events.

Peter Ustinov and Mario Monicelli attend, while Steven Spielberg sends a 16mm salute.

Louis Malle honored with Giffoni’s first Francois Truffaut prize.

Adding to his original concept, Gubitosi

introduces idea of a

thematic backbone

and talking point for each edition.

That year, it was

“Imaginary Heroes.” This

year, the theme

is “Love.”

According to Italo polls compiler Abacus, Giffoni becomes Italy’s second most popular film event after the Venice film fest.

Giffoni expands beyond Italian confines, launching the Giffoni World Alliance, which brings its format and a selection of films to cities including Miami, Los Angeles, Sydney and Warsaw. Fest currently has some form of exchange with 42 countries.

Giffoni’s Citadel of Cinema is built.

Fest rebrands itself “Giffoni Experience.”

Giffoni’s Multimedia Valley obtains financing and begins construction.

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